How to Pick Blackberries in Your Yard

First, buy a property that's been allowed to grow wild for some years.  Then, become overwhelmed with moving, writing, parenting and life for a year or so, and ignore the problem. In early spring, when you notice that the blackberry patch has encroached on your ability to reach the compost pile behind the barn, take a pair of snips and hack down a lot of the canes.  Cut anything that's dead, or in your way or leaning over. We'll call that pruning.

Ignore the blackberry patch further. Don't use any commercial fertilizer, don't bother with mulch, and don't stake up the plants.  This style of cultivation is called uber lazy hyper organic.

When the plants flower, take a few pretty pictures, wave to the bees and other little pollinators and step aside. It's okay to actually curse the blackberry plants a little bit.  You'll want to, because they spring up in your tomato garden, in your driveway, and even through the boards of your deck. They are weeds, and they have thorns.

When beautiful black purple fruit matures, put on old clothes. I literally used a tee shirt from my rag pile. Choose long sleeves even though it's hot outside, because it's better for those thorns to prick your shirt than your arm. Don't forget socks.

It's so quiet where I live that when I put my little cardboard quart container on the grass, I can hear the little blades bending underneath its weight.  Pick only the darkest berries (this photo is pretty but somehow makes my berries look underripe, which they are not.) And if a berry looks tight and skinny, leave that one until tomorrow too.

Pick every day.  Eat.  Enjoy.